I’ve started to think serious about writing in 2011, when I first opened a blog and tried to get my work into the world. I wanted to write more, I wanted to try everything that was out there. Including NaNoWriMo. I’ve made an account and decided to participate. To be one of those people who managed to write a novel in a month. Something I’ve never done before, something I’ve failed.
I’ve tried my approach on NaNoWriMo several times after, not always on the official site. You see, I’ve understand that it doesn’t work for me as expected and instead of motivation, I usually gain frustration out of the experience. This year for the first time I’ve tired the Camp NaNoWriMo and was amazed by how good it worked for me.
As someone who doesn’t write everyday, I found that I have a love and hate relation with a month of writing. There were days when I felt motivated, when I wanted to do everything that so many others seemed to be able to accomplish, I wanted to write those 1,667 words every day. But I skipped days. There were work travels, there were birthdays or other events that I needed to attend and whenever I’ve missed a day, I was unable to go back on track. November is a complicated month. And while I should be content with what I managed to achieve, I feel that I’m setting a goal that is not doable for me.
Focus on words
And the main reason why it’s not doable is the word count. I find myself stopping in the middle of the writing session to see the word count. I tend to add more and more words that bring nothing to the story so that I have a feeling of increasing the word counts. And while at the beginning stage of a novel it is good to get the ideas out, to start the story and not think too much of how good it is, I felt more comfortable writing without any goal in mind. Or not one that was focusing on word numbers.
Focus on time
One of the reason I did enjoy Camp NaNoWriMo is that it allowed me to set my goal in hours instead of words. And since I’m not in the incipient stage with none of my writing project, it really helped. I’ve tried to focus on spending one hour every day working for my project, and ignored how much I’ve written by the end of the days. There were times when I just browsed the internet to find out more about what I want to write, there were moments when I would re-write something and in the end get to a minus word count. What was important is that I’ve worked for one hour or more every day on my novel.
My own NaNoWriMo
While everyone out there is prepping for NaNoWriMo, in the last years I created my own NaNoWriMo. I want to work next to everyone else, get influenced in a good way by their energy and in the same time I want to focus on my personal goals.
This year my focus in on Light. I want to Edit this story and be able to finalize it in the future. And since I let it sit on the shelf (to be read storage) for a long time, now I’m getting it out. Thus my NaNoWriMo this year consists of the following goals:
Re-read Light. That means read it from the first chapter to the last and annotate what needs to be reworked. Rephrasing, plot holes, removing parts that make no sense, pay attention to grammar and auto-corrected words. Everything.
Make a story board for the story that should help me pay more attention to details. You know, something I should have made in the beginning.
Plan all the details for the next editing step.
So yes, this is what I want to achieve this month. I cannot translate this into word counts and I don’t want to start another story at this point in my life. Don’t know if you are interested in finding more about how it goes, but since this is my blog and I’m the one writing, I will keep you updated.
What about you? Do you NaNoWriMo? To be honest I enjoy stalking everyone that is brave enough to join the project and can’t wait for all the posts and video related to it. If you attempt the 50,000 worlds, I wish you good luck and keep in touch.